As I reflected on Jesus’ birth this year, I pondered the expectations of the Jewish people when he first came. From hindsight, we can judge them for not seeing or understanding that he came to bring spiritual salvation, not military freedom.
But, aren’t we often guilty of the same misunderstandings?
Maybe not military freedom here in the West, but we too have expectations of what God should do for his people.
Perhaps we expect healing or God to protect us from harm. When he doesn’t, we question his goodness and love for us. This can’t be God’s love.
What if, God’s love and purposes are greater than relieving us of our current struggles?
He is not oblivious to our pain. I believe he suffers with us. This was not his desire for us, but it is the reality of living in a fallen world. His heart aches and breaks with our every pain.
Even so, he came to give us something greater than our temporary pain. It may not feel temporary to us now. We don’t have the perspective of eternity yet.
He came to secure our future!
An eternity with him!
Loved beyond what we could ever imagine!
Do you know that you can experience that love here on earth, regardless of your pain and circumstances?
That is the miracle!
His love conquers ALL!
No, that usually doesn’t mean removing our pain. But it does mean that you can live with the peace and security of knowing this is not the end. The God of the universe sees you, loves you, and will make everything right one day – guaranteed.
So, as I reflect on Jesus’ birthday again this year, I pray that he would give us the gift of seeing things from his perspective.
It changed everything for the disciplines and the early church.
It changes everything for the persecuted church of today.
It changes everything for all of us who are willing to release our expectations and open ourselves to see what he longs to show us.
Will we be like the Jews in Jesus’ time who refused to see why he really came and missed out on his true gift?
Or will you be willing to risk seeing what he truly has for you this year?
Jesus, please give us eyes to see and hearts that are open to receive You, our true gift. Amen.